When it comes to a bawdy, R-rated animated film, don’t count it out of Oscar season. As a refresher: 1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was nominated in the best song category for “Blame Canada”, which wound up being an unforgettable musical number during the awards telecast with Robin Williams. The mind wanders hysterically thinking about the possibilities that could happen on Oscar night should any ditties from Sausage Party make it on the ballot.
Today at Deadline’s the Contenders event at the DGA Theatre, Sausage Party scribe/producer/voice-over star Seth Rogen told Deadline’s editor-in-chief Mike Fleming that he had been developing an R-rated toon for a while. When he felt it was ready, he approached animation director Conrad Venron, who Rogen worked with on Monsters vs. Aliens and also was on today’s panel.
“I wanted to do an R-rated cartoon since I watched 1981’s Heavy Metal,” said Vernon, “Seth said, ‘We have a movie where sausages leave their packages and screw the buns,’ and I said, ‘I’m in.'”
A vital part of discussion: the hysterical food orgy scene in the film. At the Comic-Con screening of Sausage Party, Rogen said, “I really don’t think the MPAA knew how to handle this film.” Nonetheless, the MPAA didn’t put Sausage Party through a wood chipper. The filmmakers only shaved eight minutes of the movie, specially shaving hairs off of Sammy the Bagel’s lower parts. Also on the floor: a scene were the pic’s nemesis Douche was doing some uncouth things with a group of rabbits. “We put a lot of thought in why a turnip would blow a radish,” Rogen explained today.
Similar in a way to Disney’s Zootopia, which had themes promoting equality and tearing down fear-based sentiment, Rogen vied to fly a flag for brotherly and sisterly love in Sausage Party, exemplified by that — orgy scene.
“We wanted to show how different aisles believe different things and don’t get along with one another, and really show the true personification of everyone coming together,” joked Rogen. “Sometimes, if the bun fits…”
Vernon also was present at Contenders with Rogen. Sausage Party was co-directed by Greg Tiernan and produced by Evan Goldberg, Megan Ellison (whose Annapurna Pictures is a producer) and Vernon. Released on Aug. 12 by Sony, Sausage Party has grossed close to $98M stateside, and $136.8M off a production cost under $20M. Pic is currently available for streaming.